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'Being European': UK production companies and Europe

Spicer, Andrew


Andrew Spicer
Professor in Cultural Production


This article discusses the relationship between UK film producers and Europe, offering a historical overview and an extended case study of an existing company, Number 9 Films. It argues that although UK film production and the attitude of policy makers have been shaped by American economic interests, Europe represents an important conceptual and cultural space that encourages producers to make films that are distinctively different from the dominant Hollywood model. Drawing on a range of commentators and original interviews, the article argues that in an era of regional porosity and transnationalism, the traditional polarity between European art cinema and commercial Hollywood is being reimagined and the boundaries re-drawn. This has created a shifting ‘middle ground’ that can be occupied by producers who are prepared to seek collaborations and funding from a varied range of sources. The case study of Number 9 Films analyses how these processes work in detail, examining the company’s multiple and cosmopolitan identities and its business model. It concludes by discussing the company’s move into ‘high end’ television drama production arguing that this shift is typical of independent UK film producers, demonstrating the increasing convergence between the two forms and also a further stage in the evolution of European audiovisual production.


Spicer, A. (2019). 'Being European': UK production companies and Europe. Studies in European Cinema, 16(1), 55-72.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 16, 2018
Online Publication Date Nov 7, 2018
Publication Date Jan 2, 2019
Deposit Date Oct 29, 2018
Publicly Available Date May 8, 2020
Journal Studies in European Cinema
Print ISSN 1741-1548
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 16
Issue 1
Pages 55-72
Keywords European, identity, regional porosity, cosmopolitan, producers, production companies
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Studies in European Cinema on 7th November 2018, available online:


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